Wednesday, December 07, 2011

WPBT Still Alive and Kicking

The winter WPBT Blogger gathering is now in the books and the event is still going strong.  2010 was clearly the peak with thousands of extra cash added to the tournament by the now defunct FullTilt, and the now absent from the US market PokerStars.  FullTilt also picked up private room for Sundays football games covering all food expenses as well for 50+ bloggers (thanks to money they raided from player accounts, but let's not mention that!).  There would be no extra cash added or free rooms to watch football this year, but we still had the core crew of poker bloggers that have built up this gathering over the last 7 years, and that is more than enough.  I had a blast as usual, drank too much as usual, and ran semi deep in the WPBT event (25th) without cashing as usual.  I was on a serious heater at the NL holdem cash games the entire weekend which was a nice plus.  Live games in Vegas have been very good to me since Black Friday.  I would share more, but you know the saying "what happens in....".  For some reason, I can see this group still getting together long after anyone even remembers what got us together in the first place.  Most of us have long abandoned playing online poker, or even writing about poker at this point, thanks to our oppressive government's crackdown on individual liberty.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

iPhone 5 Production Issues?

I love Apple products, almost to the point of being a dreaded fanboy, but I have to admit that yesterday was Apple's worst performance on a new iPhone announcement.  Is Apple's best days behinds them, now that Steve Jobs is gone, or is something else going on behind the scenes.  Here is my take.

The iPhone4 update to iPhone4s is about the same as the the update from iPhone3G to iPhone3Gs.  It is very minor, and should not have taken more than a year to release.  Going from an A4 to A5 chip probably does not even require a different circuit board.  Going from GSM to GSM/CDMA, is also simply a chip change, and a minor circuit board change.  The only other change was a camera upgrade which is also pretty minor.  If you are assuming this is all they have in the works for the iPhone, I think you are wrong.  My guess is that they wanted to also anounce the iPhone5 which will have a larger screen and 4G compatability, but they are having issues building the iPhone5.  This makes sense given the leaks about manufacturing issues, and the Sprint 20 billion dollar commitment to buy iPhones over 4 years.  So rather than announce a phone, that they could not deliver in quantity, they simply did not announce it.  They were planning to announce it, but once that was removed, the whole iPhone announcement fell flat.  My guess is that they will get the manufacturing issues resolved, and announce an iPhone5 exclusively for Sprint WiMAX 4G in the near future.  AT&T and Verizon will get a LTE version next year, possible as late as June as they are buiding out the LTE networks as we speak.  Apple probably does not want to release a 4G phone on the majors, which will be a battery hog, until there is enough network coverage to support it.  That's the story that is missing in the media.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Fuck FullTilt

Somebody had to say it. It is pretty clear that there is no money left, and FT players are not going to get any of their money back. FullTilt was just a ponzi scheme with the player funds raided by the owners and the indirectly by all of the name pros who made money by recruiting players into the scheme. If the pros were paid with player account funds, which no doubt happened, they are complicit even if they were unaware. It really looks like they were just keeping enough cash around to support day to day operations and systematically drained away the player funds. There is no way ALL player funds disappeared through government seizure. If they had any sizable amount of cash on hand, they would allow for withdrawals now and process all they could on a first come first served basis. There are tens of thousands of accounts with funds who would not even make the request, so they only really need the funds to cover active players first. They simply don't have the funds and never will. No investor is going to cover the losses from a ponzi scheme.

FullTilt was good to the poker bloggers in the past, providing income and added funds for blogger MTTs, but that does not excuse the fact that we basically were sucked in as well into promoting a ponzi scheme. I feel pretty bad for anyone who discovered FullTilt through my blog, and then lost funds because they were unethically stealing player deposits. If I am wrong about this I am willing to eat crow, but I really doubt anyone from FullTilt will ever see their money again. I personally only had a few hundy there, and it has already been written off in my mind.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Bodog Beginner Sit & Goes Still Soft

Leave it to me, to increase my online poker play as a result of Black Friday. I personally don't like my liberty taken away, so I installed the Bodog Poker client in windows on my Mac and off I went. I still had about $350 in Bodog, as it is my only online sports book. Beginners were filling at a nice pace, so I joined a $16 and two $8s as well as a $3 rebut MTT. For those unfamiliar with beginner S&Gs at Bodog, they are a single 10 player table that pays they top 5 in a very flat payout. I have crushed these in the past, but have not played since I upgraded to a MAC about 2 years ago. I won the $16, took 3rd in one $8, and bubbled the other for a very nice profit. In the $3 rebuy, I bought in for a double stack, and not much happened in the first hour. They give you a fat amount of chips for the add-on (two buy-ins?) and I was sitting with about 6k in chips about 90 minutes in when I called a raise with pocket 6s and flopped a set. The preflop raiser was betting into me from out of position, so I smooth called, and then turned a boat. He bet into me again, and I min raised, and we would get it all in. He would flip pocket 4s for a smaller boat, and then one out me on the river for Quads, and I go home now. If I avoid the one out quads, I have a very nice stack, and probably would have cashed in the rebuy easy. It was a pretty fun 90 minute session, that makes me want more.

So even though the last three majors were taken down, there are still some decent US facing online poker to be found. Bodog is mainly a sports book, so their poker operations fly a bit under the radar. It might be somewhat easy to fund with them, since as a US facing sportsbook, they have had to find workarounds for many years now. I realize that with the smaller guys you are risking your funds to some extent, but it seem like you should be able to cash out (i.e. PokerStars) even if a site like Bodog gets shut down. We even used to have blogger MTTs on bodog, so many bloggers may still have some funds there. I will see if Smokkee is interested in putting a new blogger thingy together.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Death of The Magic Roll

It's about time that I weigh in on the death of online poker. To me it has been quite ill for a while, and this was just a matter of time. Since the UIGEA of 2006, I could see this one coming, and pretty much had quit online poker as a result. Sure I played in a blogger thingy here and there, and recently have played a little Rush poker at FullTilt, but my heart was never really into it since the UIGEA. I have had my hands full running a Daily Fantasy Sports start-up which has sucked up much of my free time for poker, but to me I always had played poker to make money, and things just got too tough for many reasons. I feel really bad for all of my friends in the online poker industry, who are going to be hit hard by this. The whole thing is just stupid. Even though poker can be played live in nearly every state for money, and can be played online for money in nearly every country, the United States choose to enact a stupid law that did not even address the actual legality online poker. As a result, they have effectively banned what still could be a perfectly legal activity, by making payment processing illegal. Our rights are simply being taken away one at a time, by a government who wants to control us and the economy in every way. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame here.

So, how am I effected if I don't really play much anymore? Well it looks like it will be the end of the magic roll for me. My magic roll was created with my initial $100 deposit at Poker Stars back in the Neteller days. I used solid bankroll management, and solid play at the lower levels to build up from there, and have never had to make another deposit. The funding issue was never really an issue for me, as I could generate funds at whatever site I still had money. I have played for years on that roll, while pulling out 10s of thousands in cashouts. It payed for my entry to a $1500 WSOP event back in the day. It provided the roll that I used to sportsbook bonus whore prior to the UIGEA. Post UIGEA with no Neteller, and no easy way to move funds around, I was stuck with funded accounts at PokerStars, FullTilt, and Bodog. My two favorite online poker sites, and a so/so sportsbook was good enough for me. Now, with the shut down of FullTilt, and PokerStars, those accounts will be closed, and I will be forced to cash out. That puts my the last of my magic roll at Bodog where I have just a few hundred left. I could cash that out as well, but why not let it ride a bit at that point, and see if the roll still has some magic. I have actually used bodog for sportsbetting much more than FT or PS for poker over the last few years. They even have online poker still me thinks. I am running a MAC at home, so I need to see if Bodog has a MAC client, but I also have windows on my MAC. I could see my self playing poker there again as an FU to the government for now.

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Random Thoughts

Lets face it, this is not a poker blog anymore. I am just going to throw out random thoughts on the world going forward. So here we go.

Charlie Sheen

I think he has a real case against CBS for canceling his show this year. The guy plays an rich, arrogant, alcoholic, loser who bangs prostitutes weekly on the show, and they canceled his show for him being a rich, arrogant, alcoholic, loser who bangs prostitutes weekly in real life. That's called preparation, and all good actors do it religiously. Had the guy not shown up for work, or was missing his lines they have reasons, but he was only "studying" his character. Well he was also smoking boulders or whatever, but they could easily work that into the script and it would be well with-in character.

3D Movies

3D movies suck, and I will never see another one. There I said it. Its bad enough that they bend you over for an extra 5 bucks or whatever, but 3D actually makes the movie experience much worse. The picture quality is drastically reduced when viewed through 3D glasses, and wearing those uncomfortable glasses really keeps you from immersing yourself in the film. I always feel like I am watching a movie and not really part of it with the stupid glasses on. 3D movies are also not more realistic than 2D, because the 3D effects are over exaggerated. We may live in a 3D world, but anything that you are looking at that is more than 10 feet away is going to appear 2D. Since the action is typically from a perspective of more than 10 feet away, 3D is really not required, unless you are going to jab something at the viewers eyes, and that does not happen typically, and is hard to work into the story line. I have a 60 inch LCD TV at home and movies already look better on it than films look in a movie theater. If you make a movie 3D, I will wait to watch it at home from now on.

Public Unions

I don't really like the idea of Unions in general, but I am cool with allowing them in some cases. Where they should never be allowed is in the case of a double monopoly. A double monopoly would be were the product or service provided is from a monopoly, and the labor provided is also monopolized (Unionized). When there is no competition for the product or service, there is nothing to keep union salaries and wages in check with reality. If unionized workers want to make more money and better benefits they need to provide a compensating level of extra productivity. Let's look at a couple of examples. Lets say that in the Auto industry Ford, and GM were unionized, and Toyota, Honda, and Nissan were not. The Auto industry is not a monopoly so unions are fine there. If the unionized workers demand or receive salary and or benefits in excess of the productivity they bring to the plate, they make their company uncompetitive. As the company fails, they will lose union jobs unless they are willing to take pay /benefit cuts. The competitive industry keeps the union demands in check.

Now lets take the teachers union. K-12 education would meet the definition of a monopoly even though there are some private schools, because public schools dominate the scene in every way. You can send your kids to public school for free or pay big bucks for private school, so real competition is very limited. To really see if pay and benefits were fair for unionized teachers, you would have to remove the barriers to competition first. A great way to do this would be to offer vouchers to everyone for the amount of money that a state funds schools per student, per year. You could then use that voucher to attend a public school for free, or use the voucher to pay a private school instead. The state is not outlaying any more money for education, they are just allowing a choice between private and public schools. If the private school was more expensive than public, you would pay the difference. If it was less expensive you would keep the change. As people choose to go to private over public schools, you would close down public schools, and lower the amount of unionized teachers in them. If unionized teachers worked in private schools that's fine to. Allowing parents to choose, keeps union rules, wages, and benefits in check, because they can kill thier employer by making them uncompetitive. So my solution to public unions is to outlaw them for double monopolies, or make the public service competitive so you can keep them.

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Superbowl Pick

I have had this thing locked down for the last few years. This year I don't feel as strong as the last few years, so don't bet the whole farm. The spread is falling between GB -2.5 to -3, and I will be going with Green Bay. This is not a huge play, as I am giving just slight edge to GB of say 4-6 points. My reasons for liking Green Bay are as follows.

1) Strength of Schedule
Green Bay was 3-3 vs. playoff teams in the regular season. Pittsburgh was 2-4 with all of their losses coming against playoff teams.

Edge GB

2) Common Opponents
Both teams played ATL, NYJ, NE, and BUF with the first three making the playoffs. Green Bay did better than Pittsburgh against all 4 common opponents. By large margins in some cases

Edge GB

3) Playoff Momentum

Green Bay has looked very good on the road over three playoff games. Pittsburgh has won two straight at home in the playoffs and has not been overly impressive. The Superbowl will be on a neutral field which should make GB look better and PIT worse than they have looked so far in the playoffs.

Edge GB

4) Game Location (Dallas - Dome)

GB has looked much more impressive than PIT when playing on Turf. Pittsburgh's passing game is significantly worse on Turf, while GB's holds up well. PIT runs well on turf, but not enough to make up for a much worse passing performance

Edge GB

5) Superbowl Experience

PIT gets the edge here, but what happened last year when NO with no experience, knocked off IND who had won recently.

Edge PIT

6) Rushing Defense

PIT is tops in the league, GB is respectable

Edge PIT

7) Coaching

I don't see and edge here either way.

Tie.

Overall Edge: Green Bay in most important categories

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